Variety magazine sold for $25m

US entertainment industry bible has been bought by Penske Media Corporation, parent company of

Variety, the 107-year old US entertainment industry trade bible, has been sold to the parent company of Nikki Finke's digital upstart for $25m (£15.6m).

The deal, confirmed on Tuesday, marks Variety owner Reed Elsevier's exit from the US trade magazine market.

Variety has been bought by Penske Media Corporation (PMC), which in six years has built Deadline into a dominant digital showbusiness news source, and its financial backer, Third Point.

"As a company, we plan to rapidly build upon Variety's foundation, while extending this invaluable brand's presence across the web, broadcast, mobile and international markets," said Jay Penske, chief executive of Santa Monica-based PMC.

Reed Elsevier had owned Variety, until recent years the dominant industry news source for the US entertainment sector, for two decades.

Mark Kelsey, chief executive of the company's trade magazine division, Reed Business Information (RBI), said: "With Reed Business Information's increasing focus on data services and the sale of our other US print magazines, it makes sense for us to sell the business."

Reed Elsevier has been withdrawing from trade magazines in recent years, selling off 45% of the RBI operation since 2008. The magazine division accounts for just 11% Reed Elsevier's total revenues.

In 2007, 39% of RBI's revenues came from print advertising. In the half year to the end of June, it accounted for just 13%.

Reed is also seeking a sale of its magazine portfolio in Australia. A spokesman declined to comment on whether the UK magazine business, which publishes titles including Farmers Weekly and Flight International, would be next to be hived off.

RBI, which still publishes nearly 100 trade titles, made £347m in revenues and had an operating profit of £63m in the six months to the end of June.

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